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Truth Be Told

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Audio CD, August 5, 2003
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Blues Traveler

John Popper: Vocals, Harmonica

Chandler Kinchla: Guitars

Ben Wilson: Keyboards

Tad Kinchla: Bass

Brendan Hill: Drums, Percussion

It's not every band that's still staking out new musical territory and embracing fresh challenges more than 20 years into their career, but that's the case with Blues Traveler. Having long ago graduated ... Read more in Amazon's Blues Traveler Store

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for 41 albums, 6 photos, videos, discussions, and more.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 5, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sanctuary Records
  • ASIN: B0000AC8P3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,274 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Unable to Get Free
2. Eventually (I'll Come Around)
3. Sweet and Broken
4. My Blessed Pain
5. Let Her & Let Go
6. Thinnest of Air
7. Can't See Why
8. Stumble and Fall
9. This Ache
10. Mount Normal
11. The One
12. Partner in Crime

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

(2003 'Sanctuary') (47:40/12) Eher sanfte Töne von den ehemaligen Vorreitern des Punk/Blues / rather quiet notes from what used to be the band on the forefront of punk/blues. JOHN POPPER - vov/hca, CHANDLER KINCHLA - gtr, BEN WILSON - kbds, TAD KINCHLA - bass, BRENDAN HILL - drums.


For every moment of transcendent groove, the jam-band ethos seems to have generated an eon of aimless instrumental indulgence. It's a mindset that bedeviled even icons like the Grateful Dead when they endeavored to construct something as elegantly--and elusively--simple as a song. Blues Traveler has hardly been immune from the foibles of excess, which makes this focused, song-oriented album an instant career high point. It's no mean feat to be both disciplined and adventurous but, with the able assistance of veteran producer Don Gehman, that's just the trick John Popper and company have turned here. For his part, mouth harp virtuoso Popper makes more like the Stax horns than Satriani, often content to punctuate his band's ever potent rhythms with flourishes as earthy as they are saturnine. But the real news here is the band's rededication to songcraft, an ethos that yields gems from the Little Feat dynamic of "Eventually" and jazz/R&B touches of "My Blessed Pain" and "Thinnest of Air" to the muscular pop hooks of "Let Her & Let Go" and rewarding funk-meets-classicism of "This Ache." It's a tack that's challenged Popper to warm new dimensions of vocal expressiveness as well, and the band to focus its powerhouse abilities into a gritty wallop. --Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 26 customer reviews
I like it as much or better than my old BT albums.
The harmony-laden sing-a-long chorus is accompanied by beautiful lyrics that seem to be a staple of Popper throughout the CD.
Are You Blues
This has become the CD that I listen to if something is bothering me.
B. Fried

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Are You Blues on September 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
What could be, quite possibly the best CD of 2003, could also go quite unnoticed. Debuting at number 147 on the Billboard Charts, it's a shame more people didn't stick around with Blues Traveler after the release of "Four" almost some 10 years ago. This CD marks the official "new lineup" for the band (adding Ben Wilson on keyboards and Tad Kinchla replacing the great Bobby Sheehan on bass).
"Truth Be Told," the follow up to 2001's "Bridge" is an amazing listen from front to back - a true epiphany for a band who seemed to be in the 'rebuilding stage' in recent years.
The CD opens with "Unable To Get Free," where a Pink Floyd-esque sway compliments John Popper's harmonica stylings (which throughout this CD seem less the forefront of the music compared to earlier releases). "Free" is followed up by the bluesy "Eventually (I'll Come Around)" and then by, what could possibly be Are You Blue's song of the year, "Sweet And Broken." This track is an amazing song with a "Hook"-like quality (their 2nd hit from "Four"). The harmony-laden sing-a-long chorus is accompanied by beautiful lyrics that seem to be a staple of Popper throughout the CD.
Other standout tracks include the infectious "Let Her And Let Go" where popper laments "It's easy to remember, but it's better to forget, you never get the one you dream of, you get to dream with the one you get," and the jumping upbeat rhythm of "Thinnest of Air." Rounding out the CD is "Partner In Crime" a upbeat rocker that shows BT has much more to offer then one would imagine.
I would recommend this CD to anyone and everyone.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steven E. Wonchoba on August 5, 2003
Format: Audio CD
As soon as you're hit with the raunchy opening notes of track 1, "Unable To Get Free", it's clear that this album is a healthy return to form after the slight departure of BRIDGE. Songs like "Unable to Get Free", "Eventually I'll Come Around", and "Can't See Why" (which features an outstanding chorus) are as meaty as "Carolina Blues" or even "Sweet Talking Hippie".
The album's most similar cousin is probably STRAIGHT ON TILL MORNING, but there is less over-production here than on that album. TRUTH BE TOLD thankfully doesn't seem to contain a "forcefully manufactured" attempt at a hit single (like BRIDGE's "Girl Inside My Head" or STRAIGHT ON's "Most Precarious"). As such, many of the songs are stronger and flow more naturally than most of the songs from the band's last several albums.
Digging a little deeper, there seems to be more of a focus on song structure on this album. For the most part, this is a good thing. Many of the songs feature bridges that change the song's direction (most notably "Sweet & Broken" and "Unable To Get Free").
Having said that, overall this album contains many things we've grown to expect from a BT album. A couple of the songs feature some of John Popper's classic "fast talking". Nothing is quite as eloquent as the legendary final verse in "Hook" mind you, but parts of "Thinnest of Air" are reminiscent the vocals in "Reach Me", and "This Ache" feels a little like a heavier (and better) version of "Felicia". And of course, many songs (especially "Can't See Why" and "This Ache") contain some killer harmonica solos.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chris G. on August 6, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Gone are the days of the extensive jams, arpeggiated notes / scale runs and egregious tittering of instruments...
Here today is the new BT album ripe with old and new conventions.
Rather than mire down with my own self analysis or track-by-track, I prefer to provide a capsulated review of this new album, and leave it up to your own interpretation...
This new LP heralds a new 'era' for BT following the unfortunate lineup changes over the past few years -- it's thick with rich blues/r&b/jazz tones and a lot less 'pop-oriented' and radio-friendly than their past fare.
More meaty and less radio-conscious than their efforts since 'Four', this is a TRUE fans album looking to get away from their poppier efforts, and wanting more blues. Travel less for it here (sorry for bad pun!)
Each song feels organic, personal and dirty... confessional at points (track: "Blessed Pain"), romp-pop at others (track: "Let Her & Let Go"), surprising (track: "Eventually" --> John stretches his voice to the higher registers without going full falsetto), among others.
What prevents me from giving it a full-5 stars is the sometimes muddy and overwashed, yet clear production. Melodies, runs and trills are there, just a bit too buried at certain moments.
Give this album the shot it deserves.. BT are truly one of the hardest working "jam/blues" MUSICIANS out there these days.. they warrant your attention and your dollars.
However, if you are looking for 'Runaround' part 2, don't expect it here... Their previous album, 'The Bridge' had closer moments.. and in my opinion, a weaker album than this.
Keypoint of this album and band is John's voice... it's gritty, 'soulful', sad, joyous, elastic, etc... harmonica aside, his voice is truly an instrument.
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